Once I ran for buses and climbed stairs two at a time to reach the top quicker. I don't do that any more. Gradually such activities ceased. I don't know exactly when.
Once I was like a jack-in-the-box. I would be working down at floor level and then I would leap up with no need to hold onto anything for support. It's not like that now. I need something to help me up. This has become painfully apparent over the last two weeks when I have been diligently decorating our front room. Sometimes I have been like a great sealion, floundering on the rocks, reaching out for the leg of the step ladder and a burst of energy. I fear I could end up lying there all night flapping my flippers while arrfing like a bull seal in distress.
I have to accept that when you are fast approaching seventy, it is unlikely that your body will function as it used to - when you were young. Back then it was like a purring vehicle that carried me along and did everything I required of it upon demand. But now it's a vintage car that is sometimes slow to start up and not everything works as well as it used to.
However, I guess I am lucky in that the only spectacles I have ever had to wear have been sun glasses. Especially in good light I can still read normal-sized text without any bother . And I have a full head of hair that contains hardly any grey. And I have few wrinkles. When you look at me you can easily still see the teenage boy I once was.
But I admit there is more of me than there used to be. I could do with losing a stone or two of seal blubber but I never get round to it. I have never dieted and I have always eaten whatever I want to eat, never thinking about portion sizes. Sometimes I think I will see what happens when I spend a week eating nothing but fruit and vegetables. Would the pounds slip away?
And would I once again become the lithe beach god I once was? Leaping up stairs, sprinting for buses, springing up from the painting of a skirting board like Zebedee in "The Magic Roundabout"? Somehow I don't think so.
Those days are gone.